On 8 and 9 March 2011, the UNITAR New York Office organized the fifth annual Workshop on Elections to United Nations Organs with over 35 participants. The workshop was designed to respond to the specific needs of election officers - many of them new to this position or newly posted at the United Nations altogether. The course aimed to equip participants with the necessary overview and tools to identify opportunities for candidatures and to provide them with insights and experience of successful campaigning.

The workshop was divided into two parts. On the one hand, participants familiarized themselves with the various and often complicated electoral procedures of UN bodies such as General Assembly, Economic and Social Council and International Court of Justice. On the other hand, participants had the opportunity to interact and discuss with experienced diplomats on issues such as regional groups and successful campaigns, amongst others through an enriching simulation exercise.

The peer-to-peer of the evaluation questionnaires underlined the quality of the course. Particularly the exchange and debates with experienced election officers gave interested delegates the unique chance of enhancing their knowledge and skills for future campaigns. In her feedback, one delegate highlighted that she “wanted to take this as an opportunity to thank [UNITAR] for a fantastic workshop these past two days. It was a great opportunity to meet and hear about the different scenarios and situations.”

Thanks to the generous contribution of the Government of Malaysia to the UNITAR Fellowship Fund, some 30 delegates from developing and least developed countries were able to participate in the workshop free-of-charge.